From 2010 until 2015 International Organization for Migration (IOM) carried out a training programme for public sector representatives providing services to third country nationals in Slovakia. The participants gained skills in intercultural communication and knowledge in the field of migration and migrant integration that can be used in their work with migrants as well as in the cooperation among their institutions.
More than 500 participants from the following institutions attended the programme since 2010: foreign police, labour and district offices, municipalities and offices of self-governing regions, health insurance company, Centre for Legal Aid, labour inspectorates and others.
The fundamental part of the programme was a series of interactive trainings, followed by workshops organized in the regions of Slovakia. The education was focused on trends, policies and practice in the field of migration and migrant integration globally, in Europe and in Slovakia; related legislation; work with prejudice and stereotypes; good practice in providing services to migrants; and strengthening the cooperation among offices. Cultural mediators – representatives of migrant communities – presented their personal experience of living in Slovakia.
Some of the selected workshops organized in the regions were complemented by the Information Days for Migrants from non-EU Countries. During these Information Days the workshop participants – employees of public offices – along with the lawyers of the IOM Migration Information Centre gave information to migrants on various aspects of life in Slovakia.
The project results (2010 – 2015):
- 24 trainings for public sector professionals from all over Slovakia
- 17 workshops in regions of Slovakia
- 10 Information Days for Migrants (in five regional cities) attended by 78 migrants from 22 non-EU countries
- More than 500 participants of trainings and workshops
- Active participation of cultural mediators – representatives of migrant communities – from Afghanistan, Ecuador, Cameroon, Columbia, Cuba, Russia, Ukraine and Vietnam.
Quotes of the training programme participants:
“It gave me a new point of view on migrants; a better understanding of their stories and motivation.”
“It helped me realize that you shouldn’t believe the first impression.”
“I have used the new contacts at my work – in further communication, cooperation and meetings.”
“After attending the training, I try to work with stereotypes about migrants. I notice them more in my surroundings – I didn’t know there were so many of them here.”
“I have realized how the foreigners perceive our institutions and vice versa, how we perceive them.”
“After the training I have a feeling that Slovakia should be more open towards migration.”
Enhancing Intercultural Competencies and Regional Cooperation of Experts Working with Migrants in the Slovak Republic. The project was co-funded by the European Union from the European Fund for the Integration of Third-Country Nationals. Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows.